Meet Osborne Macharia’s Club of Elite Little People Fighters

Meet Osborne Macharia’s Club of Elite Little People Fighters

Digital photographer Osborne Macharia tackles dwarfism, often stigmatized in Kenya, in his latest conceptual editorial.

Kenyan architect by trade-turned-digital conceptual photographer Osborne Macharia has quite the imagination.

The Cannes Lions-prize-winner knows how to wrap fans around his finger with fictional, avant garde works such as Kabangu: Kenyan collective of eccentric hip-hop grandpas and Nyane: Kenya’s league of extraordinary grannies.

Macharia keeps us guessing with his latest editorial, capturing little people warriors of fanciful fight club network, Mengo, who brawl every month in an abandoned warehouse located in Nairobi, and as part of illegal fight clubs sponsored by former combatants around the globe. We meet four fighters Dudus, Sonko, Mrefu, Mangaritos, each with a unique backstory including exhaustive training since five-years-old, who form the elite Kenyan battle squad.

By focusing his photographs on “people of small stature,” often stigmatized in Kenya, Macharia makes it his objective to “portray them as this strong, energetic and vibrant people.” He along with his regular collaborator Kevin Abraham, who handled styling, props and production for this and previous narratives, partnered with Short Stature Society of Kenya (SSSK) to find their models. Each were responsible for picking their own character names. It was through this collaboration with SSSK that Macharia and Abraham were able to bring their larger-than-life vision to fruition.

"Traditionally if one was given the brief to photograph people living with dwarfism, it would be the same old direction of pity, disability and the need for help," Macharia says. "This was taking a different approach."

Marvel at Macharia’s fictional editorial below, and see how it all came to life in the video above.